Free medical care for elders not yet

17May 2019
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Free medical care for elders not yet

ONLY 40 percent of district councils in the country have implemented the government directive on free medical services to the elderly, which among other things require them to issue the elders with identity cards.

The directive also requires public hospitals to set aside a window of service for this group of people but most health facilities do not have such windows.


The deputy minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, the Elderly and Children, Dr Faustine Ndugulile told the legislature yesterday that since the government directed the councils to setup a window of services at health facilities for the aged, most of them have failed to do so.

While reiterating this appeal to district councils in the country to heed the call, the deputy minister said implementation of the directive faced challenges, making less than half of district councils implement this requirement.

Dr Ndugulile said this in response to a question by Kaliua MP Magdalena Sakaya (CUF) who wanted to know the number of district hospitals that have implemented the directive aimed at saving the lives of the elderly.

" How many districts in the country have implemented the directive since the government announced the measures in 2014 for the elderly to access free medical services at the country's dispensaries, health centres and hospitals?" she asked.

She also wanted to know when the government would implement the policy that calls for free medical services for expectant mothers and children below five years old.

The deputy minister in his response said the government has continually provided improved health services to expectant mothers, children below five and the elderly who do not have ability to pay for services but there are still challenges to be solved.

In an effort to alleviate the challenges and ensure the targeted groups of people get the desired medical services, the government has come up with  Health Sector Financing strategy under which a single national health Insurance format would soon be established.

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